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by Millie Colcord

Where the white cliffs throw their slanting shadows
And the waves roll in with dash and roar,
Still and patient, in the sunset glory,
Sits an old man on the rocky shore.

At his feet the children cluster gaily,
Looking outward, far across the bay,—
Tell of wondrous ships upon the ocean,
Ships that they shall proudly own some day.

"Tell us," cry the children's eager voices,
"Tell us, have you any ships at sea?
Will they bring you, some day, sailing homeward,
Gems and riches, always yours to be?"

Then the old man answers very softly,
"There is one for which I daily wait;
Though the rest have foundered with their fortunes,
This one ship will come, however late.

"She will bring to me no earthly treasure,
Nothing that shall make me richer here;
But will take me to a fairer country,
And each night I pray she may be near."

He is silent,—eager wait the children,
Looking upward, with a grave surprise,
Till the old man's eyes, grown dim with watching,
Turn once more toward the sunset skies.

People passing homeward from their labor,
Pause upon the shore and pity him;
"Ah! they do not know," the children whisper,
"He is waiting till his ship comes in."

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